(Asm): ইম্ফল imphala
‘Cluster of Houses’ -City/Capital/District, Manipur
From Mei: yum, ‘house’; and Mei: phal, ‘together’.
This implies a collection of houses or villages surrounding a royal enclosure at a time when most of them would be buried in a jungle of bamboo and plantain trees.
Imphal is often pronounced yum-phal.
In 1891 a palace revolution unseated Surachandra Singh and replaced him with Kulachandra Singh, his younger brother, and Tikendrajit Singh, another brother who was Chief of the army and wielded power behind the scenes. The British intervened (Manipur was a British Protectorate) and held Tikendrajit responsible for the coup. When they tried to arrest him the Manipuri soldiers fought back and five British officers were killed (including J W Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam, and Frank Grimwood, the Political Agent). A brief war ensued and following their defeat 5 Manipuri commanders, including Tikendrajit, were hanged. Bir Tikendrajit Park commemorates the site of their execution.
During the Second World War the Japanese attempted to invade India via Manipur. The Battle of Imphal (March to July 1944) stopped them in their tracks.